What a Sight With the Lights: Diwali Festival

By Azad Ebrahimi
SC Contributing Writer

ESU’s Desi Student Organization (DSO) and Economics department are hosting the 2014 Diwali Festival of Lights on Saturday, October 18.

Diwali, when translated, means rows of light and is also known as Divali or Deepavali.

It is an ancient Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of the light over the dark, good over evil, and kindness over hate.

Traditionally, the festival is held in the fall and spans five days with the festival of Diwali on the darkest new moon in midkarthiaki (October).

Diwali festivals are celebrated by a majority of Southeast Asians and people elsewhere.

During the five days, people will purchase gifts for their friends and loved ones.

The gifts usually consist of sweets and dried fruits but can even consist of household appliances and / or luxurious articles of clothing. Children learn ancient stories, myths, and legends from their elders.

After the stories are told, the boys help set up the fireworks, and the girls would create beautiful works of art made from colored powder called diya.

This year’s festival of lights will start with the ceremonial lighting of the lamps and an introduction to the meaning of Diwali.

Swapna Suresh, a choreographer, teacher, and dancer from Lehigh Valley, has put together a classical Bharatanatyam dance. Following Suresh’s dance, Bollywood dances will be performed by community children. ESU students have put together a fashion show featuring various south Asian costumes.

During the festivities, an authentic Indian dinner will take place provided by Spice India of Easton.

The program will end with a popular interactive dance known as the Dandia (stick dance).

The festival will take place in the Keystone Room at 5:30 PM.

General public admission is $20. Tickets for children ages 4 to 11 are only $7. For ESU employees, tickets are $12.

Students must present their student IDs to Dr. Pats Neelakantan or Dr. Seewoonundun Bunjun in the Economics department located on 420 Normal Street near the library to obtain their free student tickets.

Purchasing your tickets in advanced is recommended due to limited seating.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Dr. Neelakantan (pats@esu.edu) at 570-422-3002 or Dr. Bunjun (shiv43@gamil.com).

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